Doctoral of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering

The Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering degree has been developed to ensure that students receive both fundamental knowledge in basic concepts and an understanding of current and emerging/future technologies and applications.

Degree Requirements

The Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering requires 84 credits beyond the bachelor’s degree. A prior master’s degree may be transferred for up to 30 credits without specific course descriptions. 

For students with a master’s degree, the remaining 54 credits must include at least: 

  • a minimum of 18 course credits

  • a minimum 18 research credits 

  • a three-credit Stevens signature course: PRV961

  • The remaining 15 credits could be either courses or research credits. 

For students admitted into the Ph.D. program directly from the bachelor degree: 

  • a minimum of 30 course credits

  • a minimum of 30 research credits 

  • a three-credit Stevens signature course: PRV961

  • The remaining 21 credits could be either course or research credits. 

As an Institute requirement, students are not allowed to take more than 9 research credits before passing the Qualifying Examination. The Department recommends that the students take a maximum of 3 research credits in the first semester and a maximum of 6 research credits in the second semester. Students may take special topics courses (three-credits per semester) as part of their course requirements up to two times, to investigate topics that are not related to their thesis research.

Research Seminars

Ph.D. students are required to attend research seminars. Students failing to meet this requirement may be put on probation at the discretion of the faculty.

Study Plan

A Ph.D. student completes a study plan selecting the courses that are relevant for his future research work and also will help prepare for the Qualifying Exam. The selection of courses should be done following the advice of the Thesis Advisor.

Qualifying Exam 

The Qualifying Exam must be passed within a year of entering the Ph.D. program, for students with a masters’ degree and one year and a half for the students entering the program directly from a bachelor degree. The Qualifying Exam consists of two written exams testing fundamental knowledge. The student, advised by his/her Thesis Advisor, selects the two areas that are relevant for its Ph.D. research. The Qualifying Exam is typically offered twice a semester: once in early Fall semester and once in Spring. The Qualifying Exam can be taken a maximum of two times. Qualifying Exam date is announced a couple of weeks in advance by the Department. A student can enroll for a maximum of 9 credits of research before passing the Qualifying Exam, if he/she is working under the supervision of a Thesis Advisor.


Students must complete a minimum of 15 credits of EE960 Dissertation/Research. The dissertation must demonstrate the student’s mastery of the associated topic area, it must exhibit sound research methodology and it must make a unique and substantial contribution to an area of research.

Thesis Proposal

After passing the Qualifying Examination, the student becomes a Ph.D. candidate. Together with his Thesis Advisor, he/she selects a Ph.D. topic and a Ph.D. thesis committee and starts the research work and the preparation for the proposal defense. It is recommended that the proposal defense is scheduled within 1 year of passing the Qualifying Exam.

Dissertation Defense

At the completion of his/her research work, the student defends his research in front of the Ph.D. thesis committee. The defense is publicly announced at least 10 business days in advance and it is open to the public. The student must submit to his/her thesis committee members a draft of his thesis one month prior to the defense.


The faculty reserve the right to make exceptions to any of the rules and procedures described above in order to promote and preserve the health of the doctoral program and to ensure each student’s prompt and effective progress through the program.